Skip to main content

Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

See other formats



slender. The index finger is much as in NycMcebus, The colour,
too, is not -widely different, being of a yellowish grey, but it lacks
the dorsal stripe which distinguishes its relative. The incisor
teeth are equal and very small The last upper molar has four
cusps instead of the three of Nycti&ebus. This Lemur is confined
to Southern India and Ceylon, and has much the same habits as
the last. But it is rather more active, and can capture small
birds when sleeping upon the trees ; its diet, however, is mixed,
and is vegetarian as well as animal.

A mysterious Lemur, which we conveniently place as a kind
of appendix to the present family on account of its locality, has
been shortly described by ISTachtrieb from, the Philippines. The
tail is rudimentary; there are two upper incisors, but as many as
six lower. It is doubtful what the beast really is.

Fam. 2. OMromyicfae.—This family contains but a single
genus and species, the Aye-aye, Cfoirotnys madagascariensis,

FIG. 268.—Aye-aye.     Chiromys madagasccMriensis.    x^.
whose characters therefore are for the present those of the
family as well as of the genus and species. The external
features of this extraordinary animal will be gathered from
an inspection of Fig. 263, from which it will be seen that
the earlier name of tSeiurus given to the creature was not by
any means a misnomer. The Squirrel-like appearance is due,
of course, chiefly to .the strong and long incisor teeth. Afl
fco the external characters, which are of systematic importance,